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12 Days in Morocco starting in Marrakech - need advice

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Long Beach...
posts: 2
reviews: 4
12 Days in Morocco starting in Marrakech - need advice

Let me first apologize for the long post and many questions. I know most of these answers can be found on TA and would normally do all of my own research here but my travel partners and I are ridiculously busy with work right now. We do have a few months to figure out the details but if I can get some advice meeting up ahead of time, it’ll make everything so much easier. I’ll throw our plan out there and hope for the best!

The three of us will be up in Madrid and then flying to Marrakech on 11/28/12. We’re all set as far as Riad there. We plan to stay 4 nights. From there, we want to drive to Merzouga with an overnight in Ouarzazarte. We plan to do an overnight in Erg Chebbi and then drive on to Fes with an overnight somewhere along the way to break up the drive. Then, a few days in Fes/Meknes, and then on to Rabat for one night and then fly back to Madrid and on to our respective homes. A total of 12 days on the ground in Morocco.

Originally, we had planned to rent a car at the end of our stay in Marrakech and drive ourselves the rest of the way, leaving the car at the airport in Rabat. We are all seasoned travellers, DIYers and want to be able to stop on a whim and spend as much or as little time at any given place, particularly between Marrakech and Merzouga.

Here come the questions:

• We don’t really need a car after Merzouga (I don’t think) but I assume we cannot rent a car for this one way trip. Correct? Can we hire a car and driver to take us one way? If so, what should we expect to pay for the drive with an overnight in Ouarzazate (assuming we will pay for driver’s room and meals and probably his return trip as well)?

Once at the desert, do we even need a hotel? Seems crazy to rent rooms that we will not be sleeping in. One thought was to get just ONE room so we can store our luggage and have a place to shower, etc. when we return in the morning.

What is the best way to get from Merzouga to Fes if we decide to go with a driver vs. renting a car? The overnight bus? A grand taxi? If we do this, are we missing out on much in between? While I am always fascinated driving though other countries, it seems that outside of the Cedar Forest, there isn’t a “can’t miss” town or site on that part of our route.

While in Fes, we’d like to go to Volubilis…I know there’s not much left there but we’re trying to hit as many ‘1000 Places to See” and UNESCO sites as we can. If we don’t have a car, how would we get to Meknes for the day?

Lastly, the primary reason we were going to go on to Rabat is because I can’t seem to find any direct flights from Fes to Madrid (we all used miles to get from the US to Spain and plan to buy the MAD – Morocco flights separately as they are pretty cheap). From what I can tell, we’d have to fly with a stop in Casa which turns a 2 hour flight into 6 hours and that is a pain. Ideally, we’d fly direct from Fes to MAD and that would buy us a couple of extra days. I’d put one of them out in one of the towns near Merzouga. Is there a direct flight that I am somehow missing?

Marrakech, Morocco
posts: 4,324
reviews: 55
1. Re: 12 Days in Morocco starting in Marrakech - need advice

First of all, amabie, I welcome you to the Marrakech forum. However your questions are so wide ranging that you will gain more opinions on the general Moroccan one. I will say however that you travel plans are totally unrealistic - twelve days? Simply not doable. Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Merzouga, Fes (including the Roman ruins at Volubilis), Rabat and Casablanca. More research required I'm afraid, even if you are busy.

Long Beach...
posts: 2
reviews: 4
2. Re: 12 Days in Morocco starting in Marrakech - need advice

Thanks for your advice - I will repost in the Morocco forum, but just to be clear, we are NOT going to Casablanca and the drive to Rabat was just to get a flight, not to visit. The real trip I am asking about it Marrakech - Merzouga - Fes, with stops along the way.

Thanks anyway

Cape Town Central...
posts: 41
reviews: 3
3. Re: 12 Days in Morocco starting in Marrakech - need advice

I Did the same trip early this year, I rented a 4x4 and an English speaking driver, I did Marrakesh, AItbenhadou, Ouarzazate, Todra gorge, Merzouga and then to Fes, and Tangier to end my trip in Spain.

I haven't paid any room for my driver; nor paid him for his trip back, but I paid euros 100 a day and that covers, The car, Driver, Fuel, road tools; and he gets free rooms because of his background with hotels. In the end I tipped him because he was honest and safe driver.

No need to pay for the room in Merzouga for the second night, if you go on the overnight camel ride, the Hotel will give you a place for your luggage for free. ( my driver made that clear before I book the rooms; so I end up paying the room for the first night in the hotel; then my second night was at the camp with camels).

Cardiff, United...
posts: 908
reviews: 30
4. Re: 12 Days in Morocco starting in Marrakech - need advice

I think you have more than enough time to do everything. We did Marrakech-Merzouga-Fes in 5 days/4 nights, yes it was a bit rushed at tmes, but we got to see quite a bit on the way there.

Expect to pay a private driver with a 7 seater type (air-conditioned vehicle) around $150-$160 (US dollars) a day, if there are 3 of you then $50 dollars each. That includes everything as far as the driver is concerned. You have to pay for you own accommodation and food. If you want to use the driver just to get to Merzouga, then you will have to pay him for 3 days, 2 days to get to Merzouga and his 3rd day to get back to Marrakech.

Stop off at Ait Ben Haddou, there is a lovely Kasbah there. Also try to get to Todra Gorge on the first night, I much prefer it to Ouarzazate.

In Merzouga, when you arrange a Sahara tent experience, it is usually done through a hotel in Merzouga, they give you a room to store you luggage in, they will arrange for the camels (to transport you to the tents), they will organise the evening meal for you, the camel back in the morning, and give you breakfast at the hotel in Merzouga. You can then use to hotel room with your luggage in to have a shower and freshen up before leaving Merzouga. Expect to pay between $30-$70 per person for the whole experience (exact price will depend on the hotel/camp to choose).

It is a long drive to get to Fes from Merzouga and take the best part of a whole day.

We stayed in Fes for 2 days, so cant really help you with your questions on Volubilis.

Take time to plan carefully, it is a lot easier to do this before you leave for your vacation.

5. Re: 12 Days in Morocco starting in Marrakech - need advice

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Columbus, Ohio
posts: 6
reviews: 8
6. Re: 12 Days in Morocco starting in Marrakech - need advice

Can you give me some info on where to find a good driver like you found. Any recommended company?

Marrakech, Morocco
posts: 159
reviews: 1
7. Re: 12 Days in Morocco starting in Marrakech - need advice

Above on the right side there you can find a few links about recommended drivers, tours and guides, check Top Asked questions about Morocco, go through the Tour Companies and guides, or write your interests in the search box above this forum.

Good Luck.

Wellington
posts: 3
reviews: 2
8. Re: 12 Days in Morocco starting in Marrakech - need advice

What is the name and contact details of your driver please?

9. Re: 12 Days in Morocco starting in Marrakech - need advice

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10. Re: 12 Days in Morocco starting in Marrakech - need advice

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